Following the birth or adoption of a child, the parent(s), together with other members of the family, may present the child in a service of worship to be welcomed by the congregation and to give thanks to God. Part or all of this order may be included in any service of congregational worship.
Thanksgiving for the birth or adoption of a child may also be offered to God in a hospital or home, using such parts of this order as are appropriate.
It should be made clear to participants that this act is neither an equivalent of nor a substitute for Holy Baptism but has an entirely different history and meaning. This act is appropriate (1) prior to the presentation of the child for baptism, or (2) if the child has been baptized elsewhere and is being presented for the first time in the congregation where his or her nurture is to take place.
While this order will not normally be the theme of an entire service, one or more of the following Scriptures may, if desired, be read as a lesson or sung as an act of praise and thanksgiving:
|Deuteronomy 6:4 –9||Diligently teach your children.|
|Deuteronomy 31:12 –13||Do this that children may hear and learn.|
|1 Samuel 1:9 –11, 19b –20, 26–28||Samuel born and lent to the Lord|
|Psalm 8 (UMH 743)||O Lord, how majestic is your name.|
|Galatians 4:4 –7||We are God's adopted children.|
|Matthew 18:1-5||The greatest are humble like children.|
|Mark 10:13 –16||Jesus blesses the children.|
|Luke 1:47 –55 (UMH 198–200)||The Canticle of Mary|
Luke 2:22 –40
|The presentation of Jesus in the Temple|
As a Response to the Word or at some other appropriate place within a public worship service, the pastor invites those presenting children to come forward and then continues as follows:
PRESENTATION AND CALL TO THANKSGIVING
There may be informal and spontaneous acts of presentation and thanksgiving, and/or the following:
Brothers and sisters in Christ:
The birth (adoption ) of a child is a joyous and solemn occasion
in the life of a family.
It is also an occasion for rejoicing in the church family.
I bid you, therefore, to join with parent's Name [and parent's Name]
in giving thanks to God, whose children we all are,
for the gift of Child's Name to be their son /daughter
and with sibling's Name(s), for a new brother /sister ].
See also At the Birth of a Child (UMH 146).
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION *
For a Safe Delivery
Gracious God, we give you humble and hearty thanks
that you have preserved through the pain and anxiety of childbirth
your servant mother's Name
and upheld your servant(s) Names of father and/or other family members.
They desire (She desires) now to offer you
their (her) praises and thanksgivings.
Grant in your mercy that by your help
they (she) may live faithfully according to your will in this life,
and finally partake of everlasting glory in the life to come;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A hymn or response may be sung and a blessing given. Suggested from UMH:
|951||Listings under Doxology||141||Children of the Heavenly Father|
For the Beauty of the Earth (stanzas 1, 4, 6)
|53||All Praise to You||72||Gloria, Gloria|
|54||All Praise to You||78||
|611||Child of Blessing, Child of Promise (stanzas 2, 4)||84||
Thank You, Lord
Tino tenda Jesu (Hymn 203)
Copyright: “Prayer of Thanksgiving for the Adoption of a Child” Copyright © 1992, UMPH. “For a safe delivery” from The Book of Common Prayer (The Episcopal Church, 1979), alt., Public Domain.